TPS Superintendent: State A-F Report Cards 'Deeply Flawed'

Thursday, October 27th 2016, 2:58 pm
By: News On 6

According to the State’s Department of Education, 183 Oklahoma schools are failing our children. The report shows 45 Tulsa public schools received Fs and only four earned As.

Every Tulsa public school gets a report; 50 percent of the overall grade comes from one state required end of the year test. And Tulsa school leaders say that system is flawed.

Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist is calling the state grading system flawed and “bureaucratic exercise that does not accurately measure school and student performance.”

At Anderson Elementary, Principal Tracy Thompson said the students work hard.

"When you look at how many students we've taken from below grade level to grade level, it doesn't' measure that," she said.

Every student has a Chromebook where they practice all subjects. Thompson said the new technology helps students stay focused while they learn.

In the last year, she saw a 70 percent improvement in the number of third-graders reading at or above grade level.

While they see growth, the state still sees Anderson as an F school.

Thompson said, "When we're tracking our data and we see that growth there's so many celebrations, and we're not an F school. We call it a scarlet letter."

The Oklahoma State Department of Education released its yearly report card.

10/27/2016 Related Story: State Education Department Releases 2016 A-F Report Cards For Public Schools

At Tulsa Public Schools, four were given an A, six got Bs, eight others got Cs, 13 Ds and a whopping 45 Fs.

"My teachers and myself, we are very aware that the system is flawed," Thompson said.

The grade isn't based off data gathered year round; 50 percent of the school's grade comes from the end of the year Oklahoma Core curriculum test. The rest comes from student performance growth and attendance bonus points.

Thompson said she hopes one day that process changes.

"We wish our community and state knew what kind of work we do and how far we're moving these kids," she said.

“Tulsa Public Schools holds high standards for student success; we welcome accountability, but we want the system to be accurate and fair,” Dr. Deborah Gist said.

In a news release, Dr. Gist cited three examples of district schools demonstrating significant improvement that received a low rating:

  • Hamilton Elementary School saw proficiency rates in math and reading increase by an average of 12 percentage points on the state assessment, but received a grade level of F from the state accountability system.
  • East Central High School increased their graduation rate by ten percentage points in just one year, but only improved from a D- to a D on the state report card.
  • Anderson Elementary School saw 70% of 3rd graders experience one or more year of growth in reading on the rigorous Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment but was assigned a letter grade of F by the state.

The state has a list of every school across the state. You can find where to check your child's school's grade here.